We spend between £6 and £8 billion a year supposedly relieving third world poverty. Much of this money goes to Africa. But in Africa, nothing gets better. (See this Coffee House Article Here)
In total from us and others, Africa has received over £500 billion in aid over the last 50 years. Yet, in most all African countries, life expectancy, wealth and literacy has fallen. The only thing that has risen, and it has risen astronomically, is corruption.
Essentially we are donating money to the gangsters of Africa in the vain and stupid hope that they will get a conscience and help the poor. This is about as likely as trying to help the poor of the East End of London by donating money to the Cray Twins and Ronnie Biggs.
So what do we do? He have all seen the debacle of Iraq where Tony Blair and Co tried to impose a 19th century colonial solution to a similar problem. Hopefully we won't make that mistake again.
A different approach to foreign aid has been successfully and rigorously pursued by Cuba. Even though Cuba is a pretty rank dictatorship itself and has very little money, the Cuban foreign aid policy is something to be reckoned with.
Basically the Cubans train legions of medics and engineers, then temporarily “export” these experts to poor countries. (see Wikipedia here). Currently Cuba has 20000 (yes, twenty thousand) medics helping in the third world.
Think on this: Say you were a poor African. On one hand you look upon the western supported corrupt dictator who brutally reigns over you. On the other hand you see a local Cuban field hospital. There you watch as the Cuban communists save your child's life. Which system would you consider the best? Where would your political support go?
How bizarre that a crumbling old style Stalinist dictatorship can hold the moral high-ground over the Western democracies.
Just to make matters worse, instead of training medical staff and using them to help in Africa we actually have sent out recruitment teams to go and steal the medics away from poor countries. Then, couple of years down the track, we then cannot find places for our own home trained talent (See Daily Mail article Here.) We end up stealing medics from the third world and then forcibly exporting our own to Australia and the States.
The irony of this is that Cuba, even forgetting about the political agenda, gains massive popular support from little expenditure. Our largesse only gains us hate and despair.
We cannot afford to keep on financing the crooks of Africa. But we can afford to help the common people of Africa by training our own people and lending their expertise to Africa. Just like the Cubans do.